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PARIS – As it celebrates its 65th year, the Festival de Cannes will inject some big-screen botox into several legendary titles in its annual showcase of restored films: Cannes Classics. Robert De Niro, Roman Polanski and Agnes Varda have been added to the guest-list for the 12-day celebration.
The 2012 Cannes Classics program includes 13 feature films, two shorts, a mini-concert and four documentaries, all of which are world premieres.
Cannes Classics is part of the fest’s Official Selection and was founded in 2004 to showcase re-discovered films, restored prints and great works of the past.
The fest will wax nostalgic with an exciting lineup of restored prints including Once Upon a Time In America, Jaws and The Ring.
Martin Scorsese‘s Film Foundation will present a restored version of Sergio Leone‘s 1984 film Once Upon a Time in America complete with 25 minutes of additional footage based on Leone’s first cut.
“This restoration was requested by Martin Scorsese,” the fest emphasized in a statement.
Robert De Niro, Elizabeth McGovern, Jennifer Connelly, producer Arnon Milchan and the Leone family will all head to Cannes for the screening of the legendary title restored by the Cinematheque of Bologna at the Immagine Ritrovata Laboratory, in association with Andrea Leone Films, The Film Foundation and Regency Enterprises and funded by The Film Foundation and Gucci.
Polanski will make a rare appearance to join Pathe and Nastassja Kinski to present his 1979 film Tess whose restoration he supervised himself.
The Cannes shores won’t be safe when Universal Pictures presents a restored print of Steven Spielberg‘s Jaws screened in 4K.
Alfred Hitchcock‘s The Ring will screen to the tune of a cine-concert with musician Stephen Horne. The restoration is thanks to the “Rescue the Hitchcock 9” project launched by the National Archives of the British Film Institute to save nine of Alfred Hitchcock’s silent films.
The restoration was done by the BFI National Archives, and funded by The Hollywood Foreign Press Association, The Film Foundation and the Deluxe 142 Mohamed S. Farsi Foundation.
The festival will share its birthday bash with the 50th anniversary of David Lean‘s Lawrence of Arabia. Sony-Columbia restored the film in 4K. The screening is courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer / Park Circus.
Other notable titles with 2012 makeovers and screenings include: Japanese filmmaker Keisuke Kinoshita’s 1958 title The Ballad of Narayama, distributed in France by MK2 a restored print of Roberto Rossellini’s Viaggio In Italia thanks to the Instituto Luce Cinecittà, Cineteca di Bologna, CSC-Cineteca Nazionale and the Co-Production Office’s Rossellini Project.
Also joining the celebration will be Paris’ Dance Cinematheque which fetes its 30th anniversary this year. It will present three screenings of new prints of A Great Day in Harlem, An All Colored Vaudeville Show and Jammin the Blues.
France’s national film archives the CNC will present Agnes Varda’s Cleo from 5 to 7. The director will be in Cannes to present her legendary movie in person.
Per tradition, the Festival de Cannes will host the World Cinema Foundation, created in Cannes by Scorsese in 2007 to restore big screen treasures. This year’s restored gems include Indonesian film After the Curfew from Usmar Ismail and Indian film Kalpana from Uday Shankar.
Andrei Konchalovsky will present his 1985 movie Runaway Train restored by Sony Pictures Colorworks / Film and distributed by Park Circus, courtesy of Metro Goldwyn Mayer / Park Circus.
The Cannes Classics section will also pay homage to Georges Lautner with his 1964 film The Great Spy Chase restored by Gaumont and the Eclair Group.
Documentaries about filmmaking also set to screen include: Robert Weide’s Woody Allen: A Documentary, Gregg Barson’s Method to the Madness of Jerry Lewis, Katrine Boorman’s John Boorman: Me and Me Dad and Emmanuel Barnault’s Claude M Le Cinema about Claude Miller, whose last film Therese Desqueyroux will close the festival with a posthumous screening.
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